Far North locals turned out in force to farewell community leader Millie Srhoj on Wednesday.
Mr Srhoj, who died on Sunday aged 88, was the first mayor of the Far North and served on local councils for nearly 50 years.
The son of immigrant gum diggers, he is best known for leading the campaign to save Kaitaia Hospital and for persuading forestry company Juken Nissho to buy the local mill, saving hundreds of jobs.
Far North MP Shane Jones says Mr Srhoj was respected for attacking issues, not people.
Mr Jones says tributes flowed at the funeral in Kaitaia from all sectors, including the Dalmatian community, Maori, politicians, and many friends and family.